Title

Empowering Muslim Women: Independent Religious Fellowships in the Kyrgyz Republic

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Summer 2012

Publication Source

Slavic Review

Volume

71

Issue

2

Inclusive pages

288-307

Publisher

Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

In this article, Noor O’Neill Borbieva presents research on the work of Muslim female activists in the Kyrgyz Republic and on the religious fellowships they organize, revealing these groups as important but neglected civil society actors. These religious fellowships are “hybrid,” neither complicit with coercive interests nor fully independent of them. Borbieva explores how the religious sensibilities of her informants inspired unique responses to the institutions and discourses that otherwise shape their lives as Muslim women and Kyrgyz citizens. These women are engaged in more than a struggle for female empowerment; they are crafting a response to national and international power structures, a response informed equally by their gendered identities and their spiritual sensibilities.

Keywords

Former Soviet Union, Kyrgyz Republic, Islam, women, development

Disciplines

Anthropology | Religion | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies | Women's Studies

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